Local men’s mental health charity blOKes has set up a JustGiving page to replace the damaged After Life bench in the Arboretum.
The bench, which was destroyed by vandals on Sunday 22 May, was one of 25 that were donated to cities around the UK by Netflix. Similar to the one featured in the After Life series starring Ricky Gervais, the bench was designed to provide a tranquil, peaceful area for local people impacted by bereavement or those struggling with their mental health.
Tom Home, founder of blOKes, said: “I was so saddened and disappointed to hear that the bench had been destroyed in what appears to be a random act of mindless violence. The sentiment behind the bench was deeper and more meaningful than perhaps some people first appreciated, so it’s such a shame to think that it’s currently unavailable for local people to use.”
blOKes has since created a JustGiving bench to raise money to replace the bench and also to provide both Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council with additional funding to support the mental wellbeing of local people.
Tom continued: “Charity starts at home, which is why I wanted to collect donations to support my hometown. Mental illness, in whatever form, is an unfairly invisible disease, which often makes it impossible to distinguish who’s struggling. From £1 to £10, any and all donations are appreciated, and will contribute towards replacing one of the city’s newest assets.
blOKes is a not-for-profit mental health platform that provides men (16+) with a safe, supportive, and non-judgemental platform to talk about their thoughts and feelings, connect with likeminded people, and tell a #MaleTale. Focussing on peer-to-peer support, users can create a free account via the blOKes website and join an online community of men sharing advice and guidance based on their own lived experience with mental illness.
To make a donation, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/afterlifebench.